Saturday, July 9, 2011

A rough start to Vietnam.

It's 6am. I wake up and tearfully/sleepily say goodbye to my partner in crime Kerri and amazing host Sarah.

Subway -> Subway -> Airport Train (side note: you can now get an airport train from Seoul Station and Hongdae, you can even check in like in Hong Kong. It rules.)

Time is going well. I have had to buy and carry another bag because of my Seoul purchases. But I am handling pre-flight jitters well.

Low and behold, when I go to buy my ticket for the airport train, my wallet IS NOT THERE. The poor, young ticket man stares at me helplessly as I babble in English and tear apart my bags. "The train leaves in 4 minutes..." he says. I look at him wildly, "I DON'T HAVE ANY MONEY!" He shoves a ticket in my hand (first guardian angel of the day - bless!) and I run down to the platform. My wallet has my only form of currency, my visa debit card...I try not to think about this as I travel to the airport. To Vietnam. Completely alone.

I harass a man as he is about to put his iphone headphones in. I ring my ladies from their slumber back at Sarah's apartment. The hunt for my wallet is on.

I am also slightly worried about this enormous mosquito bite that has doubled the size of my forearm.

At the airport, I beg a cafe to use their purchase only Internet, make a few collect calls and generally do not feel calm.

Thank goodness I was seated next to this wee one on my plane.

Minseok instantly started calling me 'Nuna' (older sister) and goes straight into talking about his girlfriend at school. Bless! Every so often on the flight, he would lean on me and tell me how happy he was that we were sitting together. Would he understand my wallet problem? Probably not. I decided to keep the conversation light.

Another thank goodness was that I ordered a car through my hotel (Rising Dragon) to pick me up from Hanoi airport. It was a very good feeling to see a wee man with a wee sign that said my name. Driving from the airport is fantastic - scooters zip past us holding unhelmeted men smoking cigarettes, my driver keeps the car firmly in the middle of the two lanes. I borrow his phone, call my hotel to warn them of my impending moneyless arrival. They say not to worry -and as we pull up to the hotel in the Old Quarter, David greets me at the door and tells me to think of Rising Dragon like my home, that I can borrow cash from them and I instantly feel a ton of weight lift off my shoulders.

After spending a few hours on the phone, canceling credit cards and the like. I go for a wander around Hoan Kiem Lake.

I then eat at a touristy, pretty good tasting restaurant. But, touristy.

...and collapse into bed very early, so tired from my roller coaster of a day. Then it hits me that my first memory card is also in my wallet. I go to sleep feeling very sorry for myself (but happy to have my health.)

26/7/11 UPDATE: I just received my wallet in the post from Korea. Completely intact and the only reason it has no money in it, is that I told Sarah to take it. I knew I would get it back! I love my honest Korea.

1 comment:

ShoeboxSally said...

Oh no - that's your worst nightmare - but glad you got your wallet back...Julia